Ski-Hi Stampede ready to celebrate 99 years

MONTE VISTA — Colorado’s Oldest Pro Rodeo is celebrating its 99th anniversary in 2021. The San Luis Valley Ski-Hi Stampede will return to Monte Vista July 22-25. Described as having “roots as deep as the San Luis Valley itself,” the event continues to be a key feature of the Professional Rodeo landscape in Colorado and beyond.

Founded in 1919, the Ski-Hi Stampede has continued for nine decades with three years deducted — two during World War II and one during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to old newspaper reports, the first Stampede was held on Aug. 11-13, 1919, with more than 10,000 attending the event. Since that time, the Ski-Hi Stampede has received four nominations for PRCA Small Rodeo of the Year and has come to be recognized as a mainstay of San Luis Valley history and culture.

The annual Stampede festivities feature a kick-off concert, three performances of PRCA rodeo, a carnival, parades and dances. The event continues to gain in popularity and remains the premier event of the summer for the San Luis Valley.

The Stampede concert attracts the largest crowds in the Valley and has featured numerous high-profile county music artists including Josh Turner, Thomas Rhett and Old Dominion. Over the years, icons such as Chris LeDoux and the Charlie Daniels Band have also made stops in Monte Vista. The 2021 concert is set to feature Scotty McCreery and Ned LeDoux.

The Ski-Hi Stampede also provides opportunities for the SLV community. Those opportunities include the chance for local amateurs to compete for trophy saddles in team roping, tie-down roping and barrel racing. Furthermore, the Stampede Committee partners with Adams State University to provide scholarships to local students who demonstrate community involvement. The event is relatively unique in that it features a variety of entertainment choices and remains a social gathering that families have been known to return to annually.

Tentative schedule of events

Thursday, July 22

Wright’s Amusement Carnival

7:30 p.m.: Concert

11 p.m. – 1 a.m.: Dance

Friday, July 23

Wright’s Amusement Carnival

1 p.m.: Local Rodeo, amateur events and professional slack

7 p.m.: PRCA Rodeo

9 p.m.-1 a.m.: Dance

Saturday, July 24

Wright’s Amusement Carnival

10 a.m.: Parade

7 p.m.: PRCA Rodeo

9 p.m.-1 a.m.: Dance

Sunday, July 25

Wright’s Amusement Carnival 

2 p.m.: PRCA Rodeo

Saddle Awards

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